Knowing about something isn't the same as knowing something. Therein lies the root of "the collector's fallacy," a mistaken belief that by capturing information we have mastered it.

This belief leads us to spend time collecting information without working on it. We amass resources, books, articles, and notes, but do not learn. The acquisition provides an immediate feedback loop: it feels good because we have a tangible representation of our effort. But this is an error.

We must do more than acquire texts. We need to read them and most importantly assimilate that knowledge by integrating it with other information that we have processed.

Christian Tietze calls this "the collector's fallcy."